Test Blocks And Neck Ache

26 Oct

test block 2

So I’m getting seriously into the development of my woodblock now and going through some testing stages; working out whether to have the image cut into the block, so it prints light, or cutting the block away around it, so it prints dark; which of my cutting tools to use; should the cutting be controlled and formal or dynamic and expressive?

I cut two blocks over the past two days. The first (above) is currently in the garden shed having had three coats of shellac mixed 50:50 with methylated spirits to seal it (thanks to fellow blogger Siver Black for the tip). Hopefully I’ll be able to take a test proof this weekend.

The second is a more complete design and is now ready to be varnished. I’m getting better at cutting because I am being more rigorous about keeping my tools sharp with my leather strop. It makes a huge difference.

test block 3

But after two days of block cutting, I’ve got a stiff neck. A lot of people don’t realise how physical art is. I keep fit by alternating between weights and Tai Chi each morning but even so, it takes it’s toll, especially as you get older. I think I need to soak in a hot, herby bath.



7 Responses to “Test Blocks And Neck Ache”

  1. Leonie Andrews October 28, 2018 at 09:04 #

    Jetting off to Taiwan I got to see the doco Art of the Game: Ukiyo-e Heroes. Worth hunting out as it gives some good insights into traditional woodblock carving in Japan. Special treats are segments looking at the paper makers and the making of barrens.

  2. SiverBlack October 27, 2018 at 13:26 #

    Looking good! I hope the extra coats of shellac help. Are you going to be hand printing the final print or using a press?

    • Rosie Scribblah October 27, 2018 at 21:38 #

      Thanks. I am hoping to print by hand, using a Japanese baren. I will be experimenting with inks and papers next week 🙂

    • Rosie Scribblah October 30, 2018 at 00:02 #

      I tried a test block with your mixture earlier and it was fantastic. Thanks for the tip 😀

  3. Emma Cownie October 27, 2018 at 09:06 #

    Do your hands/fingers ache too?

    • Rosie Scribblah October 27, 2018 at 09:12 #

      Not so much. The weights help and I use Chinese balls too.

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